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G.I.M.M.I.E. - Gang Education/Prevention Program

Gangs: A gang is a group of three or more persons who share a common identity and engage in criminal or other negative behavior. Oftentimes, gangs market themselves as community organizations which exist to promote ethnic, cultural, or social pride and unity. However, this is just a ploy to recruit new members. Once affiliated, the gang's true purpose will become known to you. At that point, it is very difficult to leave the gang. It is better not to get involved with them to begin with.

Infect: Like a disease, gang affiliation will harm you spiritually, emotionally, and physically. A gang's influence will consume every aspect of your life, slowly taking it over until you are no longer the same person. If you join a gang, the first thing you will lose is your freedom. Gang members are nothing more than puppets to be manipulated and exploited by their leaders.

My: The impact of joining a gang has life-long implications. Membership will affect you and those who love you directly. Allegiance to a gang turns you against your family and friends and puts the gang's interests above your own. This means doing things you know in your heart to be wrong, and living with the shame and guilt of your actions in the years to come.

Mind: Gang members are required to be obedient and loyal, often under threat of physical harm for non-compliance. This is nothing less than a form of brain-washing. Over time, those who join gangs become incapable of independent thought. Their beliefs and value systems are distorted. Gang members are tested, time and time again, to prove their worth by committing more serious and violent offenses. Being a gang member destroys your ability to experience pleasure from the simple things in life. Once this is lost, it is gone for good.

Individuality: There exists in each of us unique characteristics that set us apart from others. Our feelings, thoughts, and desires are what make us individuals. Every one of us has special talents, and pursuing these natural gifts is what makes dreams come true. Rather than encourage members to capitalize on these strengths, gangs expect them to be ignored and put aside. What is important to you is often irrelevant to the gang. By joining a gang, you will be forced to abandon your dreams.

Enjoyment: True pleasure is obtained by living life to one's fullest potential. All of us want success, whether measured by the car that we drive, the home we live in, or the ability to provide for our families. Following gang ideology, members choose the wrong path, and achieving these goals is no longer possible. The cash made today in selling drugs and involvement in other illegal activity is merely an illusion that hides the years of pain, suffering, and imprisonment that follow.

  • Gangs promise you money, but are really saying, "GIMMIE your future."
  • Gangs promise you power, but are really saying, "GIMMIE your freedom."
  • Gangs promise you protection, but are really saying, "GIMMIE your safety."
  • Gangs promise you a family, but are really saying, "GIMMIE your loved ones."
  • Gangs promise that you matter, but are really saying, "GIMMIE who you are."
  • Gangs promise you respect, but are really saying, "GIMMIE your self-respect."

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Copyright © 2003-2012 Carl A. Bartol and the Prevent Delinquency Project. United States Copyright Office Registration TXU1599658. All rights reserved. Teachers, law enforcement professionals or other individuals or organizations seeking to use this material free of charge are asked to submit their request via our Get Involved/Contact Us page. Such requests are routinely granted.

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